COVID-19

You will have seen an earlier message informing you that, in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak, your WAM committee had decided to postpone both Sunday's first group ride of the year and April's club meeting.
 
Since that message was sent, IAM Roadsmart have issued further guidance, the substance of which is as follows:  
  
 
Following the significant change in Government advice about Coronavirus (Covid-19), IAM RoadSmart’s senior management team has met and agreed the following advice and guidance for groups, observers and examiners.

We appreciate that all groups are independent charities however the priority must be for IAM RoadSmart to contribute fully to efforts to minimise the spread of the virus nationwide and maintain the health and safety of all staff, members, associates, examiners and customers.

Therefore with immediate effect, groups are advised to:
  • Stop observed runs for associates, unless the observer and associate both agree they wish to go ahead
  • Stop all meetings and social gatherings, including AGMs and recruitment activity
In addition, advanced driving and riding tests and assessments are suspended until further notice. All re-qualifications for Local and National Observers, Fellows and Masters are also suspended until further notice.

In light of these recommendations and actions, where an associate's membership expires, we will extend it, at no additional cost, for up to a further six months to enable all associates to complete their coaching and take their test without disadvantage. We will not be providing refunds of course fees. 

Groups are required to hold an AGM once every calendar year and within 18 months of the previous AGM. You may wish to consider holding your AGM via video or phone conference call. Proxy and postal voting can also still take place and be used for resolutions.

 
With this in mind, your committee has decided to suspend all WAM group rides and club meetings until further notice. We will postpone the AGM until November and will reconsider this closer to the time.
 
The first machine control event, scheduled for 26th April, is postponed to a date to be confirmed. July's treasure hunt will be considered again later in the year.
 
As far as individual training and observed rides are concerned, IAM Roadsmart advice is clearly that these should be suspended until further notice, though they have also allowed discretion if both observer and associate wish to carry on.
 
Your committee has considered this and have taken a number of aspects into account, such as briefings and debriefings being carried out in cafes or similar areas where large groups of people are likely to congregate and which government advice is to avoid. We have also taken into account the fact that tests have been suspended until further notice. 
 
Consequently, whilst we do not feel that we can prohibit observed rides over the coming months, we would strongly advise observers and associates against them to minimise potential exposure to, and spreading of, the virus. 
 
It is imperative that any observed rides that do take place are by mutual consent. No-one should feel pressured into riding if they do not feel comfortable to and anyone who does feel unduly pressured into riding against their better judgement should refer their issue to a member of the committee. IAM Roadsmart will extend membership for associates in training for up to six months to allow training to be completed. This extension does not apply to full members who have already passed their test.
 
In the current climate, many of our usual activities will be postponed this year and some may not take place at all. With this in mind, your committee, in line with IAM Roadsmart's actions, will also waive WAM membership subscriptions for 2020 for those members whose subscriptions are up to date as of the date of this email
 
You will appreciate that the current and unprecedented situation is constantly and rapidly changing and that official guidance is likely to do so too. Your committee is keeping abreast of developments to respond as quickly as possible and hopefully WAM will be back to normal before too long. 
 
Thank you for your patience.
Be safe
Your Committee 

18/03/20 00:00  Paul Johnson


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